With the Spinal Tap shout "Hello, Cleveland!", Premiere syndicated morning duo Bob and Tom kicked off their first broadcast to the show's newest (and second-largest, after St. Louis) market.
The opening shot on Clear Channel rocker WMMS/100.7 was punctuated with references to Cleveland, which is clearly a market the Indianapolis-based pair has wanted to have on their roster for a long time.
Not only did the show feature regular guest Pat Dailey - a singer/songwriter well known to those who've partied on Lake Erie's Put-in-Bay - but they made frequent attempts to reset and explain the show's regular elements to new listeners in Cleveland. And then, there's the logo (pictured above) spotlighting their new affiliate on the B&T website.
Will it work, both in Cleveland and on WMMS?
Well, we guess you really can't answer that definitively, just 15 minutes after the first show ended. But it would seem either A) the show's brand of humor and sensibilities would probably fit in with the 'MMS audience or B) the well-developed show might seem a bit over-canned to a regular 100.7 listener, and not local...with too many regular bits and "inside humor" that it'll take a while to get used to. That's just a hunch. (For one, for our ears, the canned laughter that seemed to punctuate the entire show needs to be dialed back about 300 percent.)
It seems likely the show will continue to make efforts to connect to Cleveland listeners. Our thought is that they'll be like many syndicated shows, and try to "reach out" to such an important new market for them.
We don't believe they'll be like Westwood One/WJFK-Washington DC afternoon hot talkers "Don & Mike", who virtually physically attached themselves to new listeners in New York City in a failed experiment in the Big Apple, but they'll nod to Cleveland every once in a while.
As far as the other end is concerned, there are some already predicting B&T's demise on WMMS due to, among other things, the duo's brief run on Rubber City rocker WONE/97.5, just down I-77 here in Akron. (B&T have also been heard in Akron via Canton's WRQK/106.9 for the past year or so.)
We pretty much dismiss that prediction out of hand, since the situations are entirely different. Bob and Tom will either succeed or fail on WMMS from an entirely new platform, and the WONE stint won't have anything to do with how they work in Cleveland... or on a different station.
We'll have to see how it pans out...